Hey there, everyone!!
This week was fantastic.:) Winter seems to be ending — the Arizona sun is out and shining again — and missionary work is in the air! It was actually a week with a lot of change. This Sunday, the Stake Presidency came and changed our branch Presidency. Now, instead of Presidente Gomez, Hermano Atwood, and Hermano Medina, we will have Presidente Salas, Hermano Larese, and Hermano Pineda seriving as the presidency. We are excited! I’m grateful for having been able to work with those good men and for the service they gave and the opportunity it will be to work with the new presidency. Change always brings about success and growth, and this is what the branch needs!
We actually had an amazing Sunday, because three of our investigators came to church!! Berenice Alvarez and her two daughters, Mariana and Isabela, came for the first time. We’ve been working with them for a while. Her story is actually very special to me. 🙂
I remember that I came here to El Dorado several months ago on an exchange. That night, we went to english class, and there was Berenice! She’s been attending the sisters’ english class for months already, due to an invitation from one of her good friends, Hermana Ortiz, in the Branch. I remember that when we were there, teaching, I just felt so much love for her! It was one of those beautiful moments when Heavenly Father blesses you with a bucketload of charity for one of His precious children. I could see that she was a brilliant, special, and humble daughter of God. 🙂
Fast forward to my first week here in El Dorado. I was on splits with Samantha Martinez, and Hermana Martin was with Hermana Crow at a different appointment. Sammy and I both felt like we needed to go see Berenice, so we did. We went in and proceeded to teach her about the Plan of Salvation. It was such a powerful lesson! She is amazing because she has so many questions and is so sincere. She reminds me a lot of Hermana Gregory, who a pro at asking deep questions. And so, I felt very strongly in that lesson that one of the many reasons why Heavenly Father had placed me with Hermana Gregory for three transfers was to prepare me to teach Berenice; to love her, be patient with her questions, and to help her see her own potential and divine nature as a daughter of God.
Fast forward to my first week with Hermana Hubert. I had told her about the 21 day challenge, where you pray for a list of six people for 21 days with the promise that one will be ready to hear the gospel at the end of that time, and she and I decided to take it up. Berenice was one of the first people we decided to pray for.
Now fast forward to Friday. Hermana Hubert and I were out and about delivering lemons that we’d picked with Hermano Minch from his backyard to members and investigators, and felt like we needed to stop by again. It was the evening, aroung 7 o’clock, and we felt hesitant about going, but we decided to just do it. Berenice and her daughters opened the door and were surpised to see that we had lemons for them! They said we could come in for just a few minutes. Once we began, that same powerful spirit that I’d felt when Sammy and I shared the plan of salvation with her entered the room again as she opened her heart to us and shared special experiences she’s had with feeling and seeing the Lord’s hand in her life. She shared with us the concerns she has about investigating the church, among other things, and we were able to alleviate them with our testimonies and with scriptures that the spirit brought to our remembrance. We invited her to come to church again, and she was hesitant, but she came!!
I know that as sharing the gospel follows our natural disposition to love and bless those we love and care about that the Lord will bless us with power to be able to do His work in His way. I know that Heavenly Father answers our specific prayers!
I love you all! Gracias!